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Sustainable Water Infrastructure

Planning for Sustainable Water Infrastructure

Effective planning is essential for water and wastewater systems to manage their operations and infrastructure and ensure the sustainability of the communities they serve.

Planning for Sustainability: A Handbook for Water and Wastewater Utilities - This handbook describes how utilities can enhance their planning processes using cost-effective life cycle analysis. Benefits from considering sustainability during infrastructure planning include:

  • Optimizing environmental, economic, and social benefits by setting goals and selecting projects through a transparent and inclusive process with the community;
  • Realizing consistency across a range of alternatives that address both utility and community goals; and
  • Enhancing the long-term technical, financial, and managerial capacity of the utility.

Making the Right Choices for Your Utility: Using Sustainability Criteria for Water Infrastructure Decision Making - Building from the Planning for Sustainability Handbook described above, this guide provides more detail on steps water sector utilities can take to use sustainability criteria in the actual comparison of various infrastructure alternatives. These sustainability criteria are based on a Triple Bottom Line approach (environmental, economic, and social) and can augment more traditional criteria which are based largely on cost considerations.

Webcasts about Planning for Sustainability for Water and Wastewater Utilities

Effective planning is essential for utilities to sustainably manage their operations. Planning ensures that water infrastructure investments are cost effective over their life cycle, resource efficient, and support other relevant community sustainability goals. EPA hosted several webinars covering the core elements of the handbook, Planning for Sustainability: A Handbook for Water and Wastewater Utilities: